St Helens star Michael Smith lost to eventual winner Jonny Clayton in Liverpool’s Premier League quarter-finals last night (February 10).

The World Championship finalist remains pointless in the Premier League after two weeks of action.

Despite suffering a loss in front of the local crowd, Smith paid tribute to the fans.

“You’ve got eight players here tonight who love a crowd, they love entertaining, they love doing what they do and without fans it’s nothing.

“I’m just so glad they’re back.”

Michael Smith - pic Taylor Lanning/PDC
Michael Smith – pic Taylor Lanning/PDC

Of the Premier League’s eight competitors, Smith is now the only player not to have put a point on the board so far.

However, it has been somewhat of a baptism of fire for ‘Bully Boy’.

The opening weeks have seen him face World Championship winner Peter Wright and reigning Premier League champion Clayton in his quarter-finals.

Both of Smith’s opponents have gone on to win the respective nights.

Smith is not dwelling on his losses.

“It’s an early start, we’ve still got 14 weeks left and I can kick on.”

He remains optimistic about his Premier League campaign.

“As soon as I get that first win I’ll relax and everything will be fine from then.”

Smith will be looking to obtain that elusive first win when he faces world number one Gerwyn Price in Belfast on Night 3.

Price displayed an uncharacteristic inability to hit his doubles last night.

He crashed out in the semi-finals courtesy of an incredible Joe Cullen comeback, after beating Scotsman Gary Anderson in the quarters.

Price beaten by Cullen -  pic by Taylor Lanning/PDC
Price beaten by Cullen – pic by Taylor Lanning/PDC

With both players in inconsistent form, there is every reason to believe that Smith can overcome Price, just as he did in the Worlds.

In last night’s other matches, Night 1 winner Peter Wright suffered a surprisingly heavy 6-1 quarter-final defeat at the hands of Michael van Gerwen.

MvG faced Clayton in the semis after the Welshman had beaten Smith.

Clayton came back superbly to overcome van Gerwen’s lightning start, despite a match average of over 105 from the Dutchman.

Joe Cullen beat James Wade before defeating Price in the semis to set up a final with Clayton.

Cullen started well in a final that followed the night’s theme of broken throws, but Clayton dug deep to eventually win 6-4.

Winner Jonny Clayton - pic by Taylor Lanning/PDC
Winner Jonny Clayton – pic by Taylor Lanning/PDC

After suffering a significant defeat at the hands of Wright in Night 1’s final, Clayton proved his ability to respond to setbacks.

He also put himself top of the league table as he made an early statement of consistency – an all-important trait in the Premier League.

Following his win, Clayton instantly made reference to his beloved Liverpool FC: “Obviously I support Liverpool, so to win in Liverpool is fantastic.”

Clayton secured a £10,000 bonus for winning the night, but remains focused on his performance in the table.

He said: “We’re playing a league at the end of the day so yeah it’s a great feeling to win and to keep piling those points on.”

As last year’s Premier League winner, Clayton has made an early suggestion that despite the new format, this remains his competition.

(Featured image courtesy of Taylor Lanning/PDC)